Band of Porters
The journey from Ubersreik was long, uncomfortable, and more than a little boring. The road took you through the fertile foothills of the Vorbergland and through the village of Geissbach. The weather was sunny and warm, the road was dry, and you made good time.
Herr Hendrick spent most of the journey complaining about the remoteness of Grunewald Lodge, the deficiencies of rural folk, and the pain of his injury. After leaving Geissbach, the road entered the Reikwald Forest, the Grey Mountains to the south disappearing behind the dark forest canopy.
As the gloom deepened, Herr Hendrick ceased his complaints and stopped talking altogether. His eyes would dart all around, and he startled at the slightest rustling of leaves or cry of a woodland creature.
In the deepening darkness some spotted a flash of angry red eyes from the gloom and a man-sized dark shape flitting through the undergrowth.
Finally, the wagon enters a large clearing in the forest, interrupted by a twelve foot high, ivy-covered stone wall. Parts of the wall giving way to time and abuse have been haphazardly reinforced with board and rail.
A guard in a mail shirt and pot-helmet and wielding a crossbow patrols the top of the wall. The wall is surrounded by a wide, overgrown ditch. Double wide metal reinforced wooden doors secure the entrance. An aged tower with a conical roof top, surveys from inside the compound. Another guard, similarly armed and armoured, unwinds low-browed conversation with the first.
Hedrick ordered the gate open from the clearings edge when suddenly a guttural howl rose from the forest and brambles ahead! Several misshapen humanoid forms emerged from the undergrowth and burst from behind scrub. Some had twisted, cloven hooves and bestial faces, patches of mangy fur on their bodies, and the nubs of stunted horns on their heads. But between them strode a larger, more powerful form with the head of a ram and proud, curling horns. The creature bared blood-stained fangs and howled a challenge. At this, the beastmen leapt to the attack!
Ironbreaker Yarekson spared no time in closing with the largest of the herd, cleaving deep into its fur-mottled flesh! The high-elf huntress stood tall from atop the high stacked wagon and shot an arrow just inches from the Yarekson’s ruddy ear, striking deep into a nearby shrub! Then a like the sun itself, from behind the elf a great lighted bolt of light shon forth and struck the once mighty brute, dropping it forward at the dwarfs feet appropriate for a foe beaten badly.
But as the party focused on the leader, its minions dutifully moved in like able footed upright speeding goats. The wizard, having spent great energy still managed to catch one with his staff, amazed at the quick climb it made in no time at all! Another tried to scrabble up port side but took a tumble after a hoof-to-wheel mishap. Finally the last goat-legged fellow bit and scratched at Otto in the brush but the able street scamp didn’t let it go without a just repost, catching the stump-horned beastman off his guard.
The sounds of combat, the smell of roast beast and the twinge of magic wrinkling the hot summer currents falls silent for a half a breath as from behind, a second guttural howl shudders from the dark woods!